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Protecting Our Products and Consumers in a Global Economy A Presentation at the 6 th Dubai International Food Safety Conference February 27 – March 1,

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Presentation on theme: "Protecting Our Products and Consumers in a Global Economy A Presentation at the 6 th Dubai International Food Safety Conference February 27 – March 1,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Protecting Our Products and Consumers in a Global Economy A Presentation at the 6 th Dubai International Food Safety Conference February 27 – March 1, 2011 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Dr. Paul A. Hall, RM (NRCM) President

2 Producing Safe Food is Our Top Priority! Consumer protection and trust –Consumers must be able to trust the brands they buy and the food they eat –Food safety is absolutely critical to that trust Business survival/self-interest –Our brands are our most important asset –History is replete with brands and businesses being destroyed because of a lapse in food safety Industry responsibility –Moral obligation to produce food as safe as practical –Industry pledge not to make safety a competitive issue

3 Why is Food Safety our Top Priority? It is a smart investment in doing food safety right The changing global food safety landscape demands more diligence, flexibility, and speed than ever before. The cost impact of not doing food safety right is higher than it’s ever been. The benefits of doing food safety right contributes directly to the bottom line – and not just in cost avoidance. Consumer and regulatory scrutiny are at an all time high. World class companies that win in the marketplace have world class food safety principles.

4 Our Global Food Supply Food is a heavily traded commodity –Global agricultural trade in 2009 was valued at $1.01 trillion (WTO, 2011) Food imports into the U.S. has averaged >10% annual growth over the past 5 years –Projected to climb to over $80B in 2011 –>9M entries of imported food into the U.S. passing through >300 entry points each year The United Arab Emirates imports approximately 80% of their food with China, India, and the United States being the top three sourcing countries

5 Factors Impacting Food Safety There are a number of factors directly impacting the safety of today’s food supply: –Globalization of our food supply –Intensive animal husbandry and agricultural practices –Centralized food processing and manufacturing –Demographic changes and consumer behavior –Changes in the microbes themselves –Climatic and environmental changes –Increased regulatory and public scrutiny

6 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Globalization of Our Food Supply Sourcing of food ingredients and commodities outside of the U.S. has dramatically grown over the past decade –From $32.44B in 1996 to $77B in 2009 (USDA ERS) Food imports from developing countries is skyrocketing: –Mexico/Central America$13.2B –South America$ 9.0B –China/Asia$10.9B –Africa$ 1.6B –Middle East$ 0.8B IMPLICATION: Imported foods, especially from developing countries, are inherently riskier as food safety systems are rudimentary ornon-existent

7 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Intensive Animal Husbandry and Agricultural Practices The world’s population is projected to grow by 2025 to over 7.8B people, with the U.S. population growing to over 337 million people An estimated 20 million acres of farmland is replaced annually due to growing populations and urbanization Given these trends, large-scale, intensive animal production and farming practices are projected to accelerate in future years –In the U.S., intensive animal husbandry accounts for ~53% of total domestic agricultural income –As a result, about 130 times more animal waste is produced than human waste – roughly 5 tons for every U.S. citizen. –Manure has been the source of pathogens in a number of major foodborne illness outbreaks The FAO estimates that worldwide food production will have to increase 70% by 2050 IMPLICATION: Increasing pressure from ranching and farming practices on the environment will increase the likelihood of pathogens entering the food supply

8 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Centralized Food Processing and Manufacturing In the early 20th century and before, food processing was confined to relatively small surrounding geographic areas –Ingredients and raw materials were obtained from the local area and distribution and consumption was limited to that locale –Foodborne illness outbreaks at that time were smaller and limited in scope Today with modern transportation and distribution systems, food processors source ingredients and raw materials from around the world as well as distribute finished products globally Improvements in mechanization, distribution systems, and food production techniques have enabled producers to leverage scale through the centralization of food manufacturing –This trend allows for efficiency of scale, more consistent quality product, and enables the use of economically-favorable labor and locales IMPLICATION: When a failure in food safety systems occur, more people become ill and outbreaks are dispersed over a wide geographic range and more product is involved in resulting recalls

9 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Demographic Changes and Consumer Behaviour International migration will continue to a major factor impacting foodborne illness in the U.S. –Changing ethnicity patterns result in changing food preferences and practices that can result in food safety issues The aging of the population is a major factor impacting food safety –The population aged 65 years and over is projected to increase by 78.6% by 2025 –Infectious diseases, including foodborne diseases, are a problem for the elderly because of declining immune function Other segments of the population that are more susceptible to foodborne disease include pregnant women, neonates, and the immunocompromised –It is estimated that 20-25% of the population is at increase risk for foodborne disease at any given time

10 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Demographic Changes and Consumer Behaviour (con’t) Changing trends in food consumption patterns impact food safety: Per capita Consumption (lbs/person) Chicken Red Meat Fish/Shellfish Fruits/Vegetables577.6 (1970)690.4 The consumer trends toward the consumption of organic, natural, and less processed foods has led to increased food safety challenges –Research has shown that organic food products are riskier from a microbiological safety perspective than conventional foods Consumers engage in risky food safety practices despite health warnings and recommendations IMPLICATION: New technologies and systems are needed to ensure the safety of today’s consumer-preferred food products. New approaches to consumer education are needed regarding safe food handling practices

11 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Changes in the Microbes Themselves Microorganisms, including foodborne pathogens, have evolved a variety of strategies to ensure their survival Over the past two decades, there have been a number of foodborne pathogens that have emerged with newly-acquired characteristics including: –Escherichia coli O157:H7 (tolerates high acid products) –Listeria monocytogenes (able to survive and grow at refrigerated temperatures) –Campylobacter jejuni (leading of diarrheal illness in the U.S.) –Salmonella enteriditis DT104 and other salmonellae (resistant to multiple antibiotics) Food formulation and processing changes can induce changes in pathogens (cross-tolerance effects) –Exposure to acidic environments can confer increase heat resistance and increased tolerance to salt IMPLICATION: Food safety systems must be designed to be robust enough to cover ever-evolving foodborne pathogens

12 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Climatic and Environmental Changes It is well-documented that climate can have a dramatic influence on the prevalence of foodborne disease Seasonality has been described for a number of foodborne and waterborne pathogens: –Outbreaks of E.coli O157:H7 peak during the warmest months (May – October) –Salmonella and Vibrio infections also tend to peak in the warmer months The type of intensity of precipitation also has a dramatic effect on disease occurrence –El niño weather pattern changes have been linked to a number of foodborne and waterborne outbreaks Contaminated groundwater has been the source of contamination of many types of food products in the past IMPLICATION: Efforts must be made protect food products and ingredients from environmental influences

13 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Increased Regulatory and Public Scrutiny The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has in place a foodborne epidemiologic surveillance network (FoodNet) that enables the rapid detection of foodborne outbreaks –The CDC also has a companion genetic detection network (PulseNet) that allows for rapid identification and genetic “fingerprinting” of foodborne isolates –These capabilities allow the government to quickly trace the source of contamination from patient to product to plant –FoodNet data from 2009 has confirmed an increase in foodborne illnesses due to Vibrio but a decline in other pathogens Allergen and chemical contaminant concerns over the past decade Allergens are the second leading cause of recalls in the U.S. behind microbiological pathogens Melamine in pet food is one of the latest chemical contaminants of concern

14 Factors Impacting Food Safety: Increased Regulatory and Public Scrutiny (con’t) Because of the ability to identify and trace the source of foodborne outbreaks there is much more activity in the regulatory arena and public awareness and scrutiny is higher than ever –Food recalls continue at an unabated rate –More regulations are being promulgated to address food safety issues –Consumer groups are increasingly active and continue to gain influence in the area of food safety –Congressional pressure is being applied to FDA/USDA to be more aggressive in addressing food safety issues (e.g. passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act in the U.S.) –Continued press coverage contributes to the erosion of consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply –Lawsuits related to foodborne illnesses continue at an unprecedented rate Food safety has become a “hot button” from an international trade perspective (e.g. BSE, bioterrorism, chemical contaminants) IMPLICATION: These drivers of the changing food safety landscape mean that managing food safety issues are more challenging and more is at stake than ever before

15 Causes of Foodborne Contamination Food Products can become contaminated via several routes: –Naturally occurring (raw foods) –Underprocessing/improper processing –Recontamination/cross-contamination Pathogens Spoilage organisms Allergens Chemical contaminants –Intentional contamination Economic adulteration (e.g melamine) Bioterrorism

16 Progress continues to be difficult as shown by recent events that have shaken consumer confidence in the safety of the U.S. food supply Major outbreaks continue in the U.S. resulting in a continuing stream of costly product recalls: –Pot pies (Salmonella)$20+ million –Peanut butter (Salmonella)$66+ million –Spinach (E. coli O157:H7)$25-50 million –Pet food (melamine)$40+ million –Chili sauce (botulism)$35 million Managing the Food Safety Landscape

17 Salmonella is found in a wide variety of low moisture food products: Salmonella in Low Moisture Foods  Chocolate/cocoa products  Desiccated coconut  Almonds  Peanuts and peanut products  Flour and grains  Dairy powders  Jerky  Dried fruits  Dehydrated vegetables  Cereal and cereal products  Spices  Dry pet foods

18 Example: moisture control of pathogens in foods –Control of moisture content to preserve foods has been done since antiquity –Control from the microorganism’s perspective is measured in terms of the available water (versus unavailable bound water) that can be utilized for growth and metabolism –Food microbiologists generally describe the water requirements of microbes in terms of the water activity (a w ) of the food –Aw also has an interactive effect with other variables such as pH, salt, heat, and preservatives –Reduced aw can induce a number of “stress response” changes in the microbe that can enhance heat resistance and prolong survival in the product Food Producers Must Challenge Old Beliefs in Food Safety!

19 Approximate a w Values for Growth of Selected Pathogens in Food

20 Case Study

21 Salmonella in Peanut Butter

22 Peanut Butter Industry Facts Peanut butter is a ~1 billion $ industry in U.S. 5 major manufacturers account for 75% of production 50% of U.S. peanut crop used for peanut butter Peanut butter is found in 90% of homes in U.S. Average consumer eats peanut butter 27 times/year

23 Peanut Butter is produced from roasted shelled peanuts Fat content ranges 49-52% Salt is usually added at a 1-2% final concentration (lower in dietetic formulations) Moisture content <1%, a w <0.3% Low a w precludes the active growth of spoilage organisms and pathogens Peanut Butter Characteristics

24 Peanut Butter Manufacturing Raw Shelled Nuts Roasted (Continuous or Batch 170º -180º C) Blanched to Remove Skins Ground and Milled (Salt/Dextrose/Stabilizers Added) Homogenized (optional) Packaged

25 Raw peanuts, as with other raw agricultural commodities, are known to be contaminated with Salmonella spp Studies have shown that the most heat resistant strain (Salmonella seftenberg) is inactivated by peanut roasting Contamination of peanut butter with Salmonella spp. occurs via post- roasting recontamination Prevention of recontamination depends largely upon effective separation of raw peanuts (and associated dust/fines) and the post-roast processing areas Once peanut butter is contaminated with Salmonella spp., it will survive for prolonged periods of time Salmonella in Peanut Butter

26 First outbreak linked to peanut butter was reported in Australia in 1996 (Salmonella Mbandaka) Salmonella Agona outbreaks reported in 1996 in 4 countries was associated with the consumption of a peanut butter coated RTE savory snack First outbreak in the U.S. traced to Salmonella Tennessee in peanut butter was reported in February 2007 A second major outbreak in the U.S. was traced to Salmonella Typhimurium in peanut butter in 2008 – 2009 History of Salmonella in Peanut Butter

27 Inadequate separation of pre-roast/post-roast processing areas. –Dust/fines present in the post-roast areas Roof leak and faulty sprinkler head leak introduces moisture into the environment allowing for potential growth of Salmonella Tennessee During subsequent processing, handling, and filling, Salmonella Tennesee found its way into the product Factors Contributing to the 2007 Salmonella Recall

28 Typical dry cleaning procedures were not able to eliminate the pathogen from the environment Environmental monitoring procedures were insufficient to detect the organism in the environment Finished product testing also did not detect the organism implying sporadic contamination Factors Contributing to the 2007 Salmonella Recall

29 Common Routes of Recontamination

30 Avoiding Food Safety Issues – Putting it all Together

31 Putting it all Together The food industry must be committed to the highest possible standards of food safety throughout its operations and should take significant measures to that end: –Each food company should have an established Senior Leadership position, to bring additional focus to developing and implementing programs that continuously improve product safety and design. –Companies should consider the use of external expert food safety advisory bodies and process authorities to provide guidance on issues of food safety. –Companies should have the proper checks and balances to ensure that their suppliers and co-manufacturers are in compliance with established food safety standards.

32 HACCP and associated pre-requisite programs should be the cornerstone of a company’s food safety program: –HACCP plans should be reassessed ideally on an annual basis or if there are any significant process changes. –HACCP plans should be developed using experienced cross-functional teams and reviewed/approved by a third-party expert authority if in- house expertise is not available. –Food Safety Assessments should be conducted to determine if the HACCP plan and pre-requisite programs are being followed and to identify gaps in the food safety system. –Food companies should require that their suppliers and co- manufacturers have implemented a valid HACCP plan and associated pre-requisite programs. Putting it all Together

33 Food Companies must commit to making significant capital and resource investment to ensure the production of safe food: –Installation of state-of-the art equipment and process redesign. –Complete separation of raw ingredients from finished product areas. –Implementation of an aggressive environmental monitoring program for pathogens or indicators of pathogens in the plant. –Implementation of a validated allergen control plan. –Implementation of statistical sampling plan for finished product testing on all lots of finished product (where it adds value). –Use of the latest leading-edge detection technologies for all pathogen testing. Putting it all Together

34 Sponsorship of leading-edge research for control of pathogens in food products from farm to fork. Proactive leadership in external committees, trade organizations, and research institutions to promote food safety. Conduct in-depth safety and quality system and capabilities assessments using cross-functional teams and independent technical experts at targeted manufacturing plants. Assess overall recall and traceability processes across our supply chain. Assess organizational capabilities across Operations to ensure proper resource allocation. Putting it all Together

35 Future Needs Need a quantum leap forward in hygienic equipment design and cleaning/sanitation of equipment for dry processes Need to understand how novel technologies can be brought to bear to improve the safety of these products (many of which are low margin, commodity type products) Need to understand the distribution, incidence, and levels of pathogens in raw materials such as raw peanuts so that meaningful quantitative risk assessment can be done Need to develop industry-wide approach to sampling and testing plans, especially when a positive result occurs Need to educate management that just because a low moisture product does not support pathogen growth, it does not mean it is a “safe product”

36 Thank you! Questions?


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